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Seven Days Of Hell
, Some days are just...hell....
Member No.: 11,144
Joined: 16-October 06
Yes, I know, I’m one day late – shock, horror! But the network tower that my wireless broadband gets its signal from developed a problem, and it’s taken them this long to get it back up. I could have used the GPRS network, but it was slower than dial-up and kept timing out. And after taking just over thirty minutes to download 18 emails, I really didn’t want to try posting.
Anyway, here we are again. This story had such a convoluted journey to get to this point; it’s a miracle that it got finished at all. And it’s probably fitting that the night I’m ready to post the first chapter is the night that Optus decides to play silly buggers...*sigh*...
It was first earmarked to be my anniversary fic, but it was nowhere near ready by January, which was when I’d clocked up three years on UnGen as a fanfic writer. So I put it on the backburner and kept chipping away at it every now and then, aiming for it to be my fiftieth story and planning very short chapters of about a thousand words in length. I had intended posting a chapter a day since they were going to be so short. But then Supernaturalfan came to me with another story idea so poor old Seven Days got put back in the WIP folder for a rainy day – lol.
Well, the rain’s here, and so is the story. There have been a few little changes – the major one being that I couldn’t for the life of me keep the chapters as short as a thousand words, and it was really giving me grief trying to do so. So I padded out the chapters into a decent length and finally finished the thing, despite it giving me some really bad moments along the way. And it was done with the help of a few key people. The story completion, not the bad moments....
First of all to Chasidern, banner-maker extraordinaire. She made another pretty for me, and with only half the story in rough draft to go by at the time, too. Second, to my hard-working beta, Ziggy, who picks up all my typo’s, doubled-up words, wonky phrases, overuse of “the”, “as” and “and”, and Dean switching places when I’m not looking – lol.
And a special thanks to Tree66, whose help and advice on this story was absolutely invaluable.
Tree has a schedule that would make a grown man cry and hide in a corner. She has a demanding career, a growing family, her many and varied duties as webmaster for UnGen, and squeezes in some pretty awesome writing whenever she has a spare minute every month or so. Yet despite all that, she still finds time to patiently and cheerfully answer off-the-wall questions from crazy Aussies at some ongodly hour of night.
She’s always willing to lend a hand to anyone who needs it, whether it be answering weird and whacky questions (like mine tend to be – “what do you call a baby’s dummy over in your neck of the woods?”), giving advice on posting, moderating an issue, or just generally doing her best to provide a safe environment for nervous writers like myself. And for the not-so-nervous writers, too – lol.
And she’s become a pretty great friend along the way.
So I’m dedicating this story to her in sincere gratitude for and acknowledgement of all her hard work and tireless effort in keeping UnGen running smoothly, and for just being who she is. Tree, this is for you.
Oh, and hun, you gave me so much wonderful information in your reply emails that I just had to use all of it. I think you’ll recognise some very familiar phrases when you get to a certain chapter. And I’m pretty sure that you might want to use those Depends you mentioned at one particular point....
All right, let’s get to it, eh? I hope you all enjoy the ride.
JulesSeven Days of Hell – by Mizpah
Some days are just.....hell...
Set in Season 4, just after episode 4.11 Family RemainsDay One – Comfort Food
“You know, someone should do a freakin’ roster or somethin’.”
Sam Winchester didn’t bother with a rejoinder. He merely rolled his eyes and tucked the pistol back into his waistband. Flipping his jacket and shirts over the butt of the Taurus in a well-practiced move, he stepped back and eyed his sibling as the elder hunter paced the width of the basement they were currently standing in.
“I mean come on – would it have hurt for someone to just call and say – oh, hey, I got dibs on that warlock in Shoshoni?”
“Since when did you become head of the hunting community?” Arching an eyebrow at his brother, Sam moved to exit the underground room of the house they’d just searched from top to bottom looking for said warlock, only to find that another hunter had beaten them to it.
Much to Dean’s annoyance.
“Well, maybe if someone was, we wouldn’t be wastin’ our time checkin’ into cases that another hunter’s already taken care of,” the elder Winchester grumbled, kicking at the small pile of ash and nails that had obviously once been a black altar. “And don’t even get me started on the price of gas these days.”
“It hasn’t happened that often, Dean,” Sam reasoned quietly as he headed up the stairs, leaving greyish footprints on the worn wooden risers. “Besides, the last tank went on your latest scammed credit card, so technically you didn’t pay for it. Joseph Elwin Hoover paid for it.”
“That’s not the point.”
Dean let out an annoyed grunt, stepped away from the remains of the altar and turned on his heel. His left foot slipped a little on the grimy basement floor and he stopped, wrinkling his nose in disgust as he examined the sole of his boot. Nothing but a thin smear of ash met his searching gaze and he gave a mental shrug before following his brother upstairs. He caught up with the younger man halfway to the car.
“I’m just sayin’, if everyone knew where everyone else was, it’d make things a whole lot easier.”
“Dude, the number one rule about being a hunter is that you stay under the radar. How many of those guys do you think are gonna start reporting in?” Sam rolled his eyes again as he tugged open the Impala’s passenger door. “Or worse, sit around waiting for a job to be assigned to them by some head honcho?”
Dean’s eyes twinkled with mirth. “Now that’s a great idea. We’ll nominate Bobby to run it all.”
“Yeah, I can see really him going for the whole Charlie’s Angels thing.”
“Yeah, but it’d be Bobby’s Angels. Or Bobby’s Hunters. I can just picture it now.” The elder hunter rested one hand on his hip and plastered a bright smile on his face. “Good morning, Bobby,” he chirped in a falsetto voice.
Instantly his posture changed, becoming slightly stooped, while a fierce scowl twisted his handsome features. “Mornin’ Idjits,” he barked gruffly.
A deep chuckle burst from Sam’s lips. “Dude...”
“I double dare you to say that to Bobby.”
“You kiddin’ me? No freakin’ way.”
Sam rolled his eyes. “Wuss.”
“You tell him.”
“No way, man. It was your idea.”
“Now who’s the wuss? Hey!” Dean slapped a hand onto the roof of the Chevy as the younger hunter was about to slide onto the seat. “Wipe that crap off your feet before you get into my baby. I just cleaned her.”
Taking heed of his own instruction, he scraped the clinging ash from his boots onto the asphalt.
Sam rolled his eyes, wiped the soles of his sneakers on the grass, folded his legs into the car and slammed the door. Waiting until his brother got behind the wheel, he cocked his head slightly to one side before asking, “So, what now?”
“Nothin’ worth hangin’ around here for, so I say we move on to the next town, find a bar and sink a few. You can do your geek thing and find us another hunt while I drive.”
“Yeah, all right.”
Stretching one arm over the seat, Sam snagged the laptop satchel from the back and pulled the slim computer from inside. He settled it on his lap and fired it up, blessing the fact that he’d charged the battery overnight. Soon he was engrossed in news reports, only vaguely aware of the scenery passing by the Chevy’s windows in a brown/green blur.
Dean settled down to drive, feeling the slight tension in his shoulders melt away. Driving, and weapons maintenance, always calmed him; even the waking nightmares of Hell somehow were kept at bay when he was behind the wheel of his baby or stripping and cleaning the tools of their trade.
If only he didn’t have to sleep – or dream – all would be right in his world, he mused wryly.
A rare, comfortable silence fell over the inside of the car; the only sound apart from the road noise and Zeppelin’s Black Dog blasting from the speakers was the soft, staccato tapping of the laptop’s keys.
“Where are we?” Sam suddenly inquired, glancing through the window at the passing scenery.
“Heading east on US Twenty.”
“Huh.” A few more taps followed. “Casper’s about an hour and a half away.”
“Casper? Seriously?” Dean smirked. “We’re heading to Casper?”
“Maybe we’ll find a ghost there.” Sam’s face was solemn, but his eyes twinkled with mirth.
“Hope it’s friendly.” Chuckling softly, the elder hunter turned his attention to the highway and pressed harder on the gas.
* * * * *
The motel was old, but clean and comfortable looking; a long, low building set back from the road, whitewashed walls gleaming pale gold in the last rays of the setting sun, dark red doors flanked by terra cotta planter boxes filled with leafy shrubs. Dean pushed open the door to their room and glanced around at the muted cream and rust-red decor in satisfaction before tossing his duffle onto the nearest bed.
“I want a shower, some food and a few beers, in that order,” he declared solemnly, digging out a change of clothes before heading to the bathroom. “Maybe a coupla games of pool. What say we check out that bar and grill we passed on the edge of town?
“Sounds good,” Sam murmured in acknowledgement and settled at the small table under the window. Firing up the laptop, he began a search of the local news sites while patiently awaiting his turn for the bathroom. Later that night
The tiny clock on the nightstand between the two beds gave a soft beep as its digital readout flicked to midnight. One of the sleeping hunters muttered softly before burrowing further under the blankets, leaving only the top of his head sticking out.
On the opposite double bed, the second slumbering Winchester jerked one leg from under the bedclothes, his brow wrinkling in a faint frown as his dreams were disturbed.
A faint white light suddenly emanated from the sleeper’s foot, casting a brief but eerie glow over his toes. The strange light pulsed for a few moments before slowly fading away, leaving no trace of its existence.
Settling back down, the hunter sighed gently and slid one hand beneath his cheek as he rolled onto his side.
* * * * *
Sam woke to the familiar sounds of his brother moving about the room. Blinking slowly, he raised himself up on one elbow and stared blearily at his sibling.
Sensing the scrutiny, Dean glanced over his shoulder. “Huh. Thought you were gonna sleep all day.”
“Bad night,” the younger man muttered, throwing the bedclothes back before swinging his legs over the edge of the mattress. He sat up, knuckled the sleep from his eyes and stretched, grimacing at the dull ache along his spine.
Dean pursed his lips, hesitating for a second before venturing, “Nightmares?”
“No, just...” Sam shrugged as he got up to head for the bathroom, snagging a change of clothes from his duffle hanging off the bedpost as he passed. “Couldn’t get comfortable. Think my back’s still sore from all those nights sleeping in the car.”
“Oh.” The elder hunter’s lips twitched. “Hey, there’s a diner across the street. I’m goin’ for coffee.”
“Yeah, all right.”
Closing the bathroom door behind him, Sam leaned against it, his tall frame sagging in weariness. The frenetic pace that Dean had set after his latest revelation about Hell had slackened off somewhat, but Sam could still feel the burden of his sibling’s tearful confession weighing him down. He’d reluctantly admitted to himself that Dean had been right – there were no words. God knew, he’d been trying to find some to ease his big brother’s pain. But so far he’d come up empty-handed.
So he’d been trying to steer Dean towards some easier hunts instead, assuming the lead in a few cases to take the pressure off the elder hunter. Sam figured it was high time he stepped up to the plate anyway – after all, he’d been on his own for four months and hadn’t managed to get himself killed, despite his best efforts to do so.
Four long, lonely months....
Shaking his head to dispel the dark thoughts, Sam resisted the urge to step back into the main room and check for signs of Dean’s presence. Instead, he forced himself to shower, shave and dress, his ears straining to catch the sounds of his brother’s return. As he pulled on a clean tee shirt, he heard the unmistakable rattle of a key in the lock, and breathed a tiny sigh of relief.
Dean looked up as his sibling opened the bathroom door. Indicating the takeout cup on the small table under the window, he proceeded to pry the lid off his own brew and sip the fragrant liquid as he sat down.
Sam pulled on a button down over his tee and grabbed the laptop before settling on the opposite chair.
“So, you got somethin’ for us yet?”
“Could be something right here in town, actually.” Long fingers stroked the touchpad with practiced ease. “A hiker disappeared from a trail in the woods just outside of town about a week ago. Rangers found his backpack torn to shreds.” Sam looked up. “They also found blood – lots of it.”
“Could be just a psycho.”
“Or it could be something else.”
Dean gulped a mouthful of coffee and put the cup down. “Witnesses?”
The younger Winchester bent over the laptop once more.
“None. He was alone at the time. They interviewed his girlfriend, but...” Glancing up at his brother, Sam blinked in shock. “Dean – what the hell are you doing?”
“Wha...?” the shorter hunter mumbled around the thumb stuck firmly in his mouth.
“Are you – are you sucking your thumb?”
The digit in question slid from between Dean’s lips with a soft pop. “Dude, are you high? Don’t be an idiot. Of course I wasn’t sucking my thumb. What do you take me for?”
As soon as he finished speaking, Dean slipped the thumb back into his mouth, forefinger curling over the tip of his nose as he leaned across the table to see the laptop screen.
“Very funny,” Sam growled, picking up his coffee. “I’m laughing myself sick here, Dean.”
The thumb re-emerged, liberally coated in saliva. “Dude, who freakin’ peed in your Wheeties this morning?”
Grimacing in disgust, Sam moved the precious laptop aside. “You are so gross.”
Sam pulled on his boots, eyeing his sibling in frustration. “Let’s go get some breakfast.”
“Fine by me. Maybe a little food’ll help with that sudden attack of PMS you got, Samantha.”
“Can we just go?” Sam scooped up his jacket. He threw a blistering glare over his shoulder as Dean stood up, seeing the elder Winchester’s thumb again wedged securely between his full lips. “And will you friggin’ stop with the thumb-sucking already! It’s not funny, Dean!”
The thumb slid free once more. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
Sam stared pointedly at his brother’s hand.
Dean looked down, cheeks reddening with embarrassment at the sight of his spit-slicked digit pointed accusingly towards his lips. “Holy crap...”
* * * * *
Sam glared at his brother in warning as their teary-eyed hostess disappeared into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.
“Will you calm the hell down,” he hissed in exasperation.
The green-eyed hunter was currently squirming on the plush velvet sofa, both hands curled into tight fists and pressed against his thighs in a vain effort to keep his fingers away from his face. Ever since Sam had finally convinced Dean of his new and totally annoying habit, the elder man had been fighting the overwhelming urge to shove a thumb into his mouth and suck away like a newborn. He hoped like hell it was just some weird passing phase.
By the time they’d finished breakfast, with Dean cringing at the elderly waitress’ knowing smirk every time she passed their table; he’d convinced himself that he could get a handle on things. But as the day wore on and the brothers worked their way steadily through the list of people connected to the murdered hiker, Dean had found he’d had to steal away at regular intervals to indulge in this strange new fetish. The siren call of his thumb was impossible to resist. He had to have it.
“I – I gotta use the bathroom,” Dean suddenly blurted, sliding towards the edge of the couch. He found his way barred by a long trouser-clad leg ending in a size thirteen black leather shoe, and blinked in surprise.
“No, you don’t,” Sam growled, pitching his voice so that only his sibling could hear. “You’re just trying to sneak off so you can suck your thumb.”
Dean opened his mouth to protest, the words dying on his lips as their hostess returned. With a grateful, albeit desperate smile, he took the cup she held out and cradled it, avoiding his brother’s accusing stare.
“So, Mrs Harper,” Sam interjected softly when the woman sat back down. “You were saying that Russell hiked out that way on a regular basis?”
“Oh, yes. He felt perfectly at home in the wilderness. His father used to take him camping all the time. My son knew those woods like the back of his hand.”
“And he never mentioned anything to you about wild animals, or...”
“No, nothing,” Delia Harper replied, dabbing her eyes with a damp lace handkerchief. “There were no bears, nothing out there that could do – do – that to...”
The hunters exchanged uncomfortable glances as the victim’s mother broke down again. Hastily finishing their coffee, they expressed their condolences and left the woman to her grief.
Dean’s fingers twitched as he walked to the car, his brother easily matching his quick stride. “So, we got bupkis.”
“Not exactly,” Sam muttered enigmatically as he settled his long frame into the passenger side.
The younger hunter glanced at the setting sun. “I got a feeling this is a case.”
“A feeling. You got anything a little more concrete there, Emo Boy?”
Sam eyed his brother speculatively. “Yeah, I have. You.”
Dean blinked in surprise. “Huh?”
“You, Dean. We got a dead hiker who got torn to bits in an area that has no large predators, and a hunter who’s starting to act weird, even for him. Or are you gonna sit there and tell me that it’s perfectly normal for a grown man to suddenly redevelop a habit that he grew out of when he was four?”
“I was three,” Dean grumbled. “You, on the other hand, kept chowin’ down until you were almost five.”
Sam rolled his eyes in exasperation. “Whatever, man.”
“The link between the two’s kinda far-fetched, don’t you think?” the elder Winchester observed as he started the Chevy and pulled away from the kerb. “Not that I’m admitting I’m a clue or anything, but what the hell’s...” Dean waved a thumb in the air, fighting its irresistible allure. “... this got to do with a murdered hiker?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“Well, when you figure it out, let me know. In the meantime…” Dean patted his stomach, steering one-handed through the quiet streets. “I’m starving.”
The ride to the nearby diner was made in relative silence, as each hunter went over the sketchy details in his head. A few minutes later the soothing rumble of the Chevy’s engine died, and Sam reached for the door.
“Get me a burger with all the trimmings and a double order of cheese fries to go.”
Pausing with one foot out of the car, Sam looked at his brother in surprise. “You’re not coming in?”
“Nah, just get takeout. We’ll eat back at the room.” A blush slowly suffused Dean’s cheeks, making his freckles stand out.
Sam’s eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Why?”
“Just go grab the food already!”
“Not until you tell me why you don’t want to eat inside the diner.”
Dean squirmed uneasily on the seat.
“It’s the thumb thing, isn’t it?”
“What? No!” The elder hunter’s embarrassed flush intensified.
“As soon as my back’s turned, you’re gonna...”
“No, I won’t!”
Sensing that continuing the argument would only lead to trouble; Sam pressed his lips together and slid from the car without another word, closing the door a little more forcefully than he would normally have.
Dean listened to the faint crunch of his brother’s shoes against the parking lot’s gravel surface as he stared out through the windshield. It wasn’t just the thumb thing – he suspected that he’d been unconsciously indulging in his newfound habit first thing that morning when he’d gone for coffee. Hence the waitress’ smirk whenever she’d approached their table at breakfast.
No way was he going to subject himself to further embarrassment. Of course, there was always the chance that her shift had ended and she’d gone home, but he didn’t feel up to taking that chance.
Besides, there was a much more pressing matter at hand.
Despite his best efforts to keep focussed on the hunt, Dean found his gaze inexorably drawn to his hands wrapped tightly around the steering wheel. The strange attraction for his thumb was getting stronger, filling his every thought. It called to him, seducing him with its promise. Dean stared at the digit, his mouth beginning to salivate as he slowly uncurled his fingers from the wheel and raised the hand to his mouth.
There it was – plump, pink and alluring, and his for the taking. He had to have it. And this time, there was no annoying little brother around to stop him.
Letting out a moan of almost pure ecstasy, Dean slid his right thumb into the waiting cavern of his mouth. His eyes drifted closed as he sucked, feeling the tension seep from his tall frame. All was right with his world.
Suddenly the driver’s door was wrenched open and a large sinewy hand snaked in to wrap around his wrist, tearing the succulent thumb cruelly from his lips. His mouth opened in a wail of protest and he lunged after it, determined to get it back.
“Don’t do it, Dean!”
“No! Give it back!”
Sam grunted as his brother elbowed him in the chest. Staggering back a pace, he narrowed his eyes in determination and dived into the car as Dean scrambled towards the passenger side. “No, you don’t!”
“Freakin’ get off me!”
Dean fought with desperate strength. His mouth opening and closing like a goldfish, he broke free of every wrestling hold his brother applied, the tendons standing out like ropes on his neck and arms. Grunts, growls and muttered curses filled the Impala, her chassis squeaking as she rocked from side to side with the force of the Winchesters’ struggle.
“No, you don’t –”
“Son of a b –”
“Don’t make me –”
“Give it – get off –”
As the close-quarters battle raged across the front seat, Dean suddenly spotted an opening. One of Sam’s hands had clamped across his mouth, but in doing so, the younger man had drawn back a little, opening up a gap of two inches between their bodies. Twisting like an eel, the elder hunter drove one knee into his brother’s crotch, feeling a heady surge of victory at the pain-filled grunt that puffed against his ear.
Sam fell back, hunching over as he cradled his throbbing groin. Oh, gah, too many man-bits in one small area
, he decided grimly, his chest heaving. Throwing a heated glare at his brother, he found the elder man pressed up against the passenger door. Dean glared defiantly back as he brandished his small silver boot knife, and Sam raised one hand in surrender.
“Whoa, whoa! Dean...”
“Back off, Sam!”
The elder Winchester’s maniacal glare intensified. Raising his free hand, he opened his mouth wide and drove the thumb inside, clamping his lips tightly over the digit. Without taking his eyes off Sam or lowering the knife, Dean began to suck, cheeks hollowing out with the effort.
Sam sighed in frustration as he moved painfully back out of range.
It was going to be a long night.
* * * * *Thanks to Cookie6 for the man-bits
Well, well, well, what's affecting Dean? We'll find out next week....or will we...*winks*...
See you next week!
Member No.: 7,354
Joined: 26-July 06
| Great start to this story sis, you do humour with such finesse!
Just what is up with Dean? Don't think it is linked to the possible hunt of the disappeared hiker, the motel seems fine and the warlock was history before they got to Shoshoni. They both stepped in ash and Sam is not affected but Dean did slip slightly on something but again, only ash was on his boot. And one of the Winchesters had a light hover over his foot whilst asleep! Weird!
Gotta laugh though at Dean suddenly developing a fetish for thumb-sucking, something he pointed out to Sam that he grew out of at a younger age than his sibling! And not surprised he didn't want to risk going back to that diner as he wondered if he'd been sucking his thumb when he went in there on the coffee run!
Loved Petra's man bits line, thought of her when I read it!
Sam is right, it's going to be a long night, and a long week for us to wait until Friday and the next instalment!
Hope Optus is soon up and running but thank goodness Chris' net is still working!
Member No.: 11,144
Joined: 16-October 06
Sarah – hey, sis! Thank you, and thanks for your help on this one – sterling work as always. Ah, yes, just what is up with Dean? All will be revealed....but not in the next chapter – LOL. Dean’s certainly being affected by something, but whether it’s the hunt in Casper or something else entirely....or is Dean yanking Sam’s chain? Could the seven days of hell be Sam’s hell? Am I fooling you? ROFL!
Seriously, it will be revealed in a couple of chapters – or perhaps not...*grins wickedly*....
Steffs – hey! Oh! Sorry! Forgot to send this to you! I’ve been all over the shop with stuff lately, and then lost internet for a few days due to a problem with the signal tower up the road, so had to go down to Chris’ to post. I’ll pick up the routine again, promise.
Thanks so much for that, hun – if you can hear their voices, I know I’ve done my job. And as for Dean’s pain...well, there’s plenty more where that came from – lol! *winks*....
To my lurkers – hope you all enjoyed the first chapter.
And a tiny little word of warning about the second chapter.....I wouldn’t advise drinking while reading – wouldn’t want to be responsible for you splutting liquid all over your monitor....
Day Two – It’s An Ill Wind
Rolling out of bed with a pain-filled groan, Sam slowly straightened, mindful of the various bruises he’d acquired during the impromptu wrestling match with his brother the previous afternoon. His groin was still a little tender, and he could feel a dull ache across the left side of his ribcage, right shoulder and both arms. Wincing at the memory, he threw a cold glare at the comforter-swathed lump on the other bed.
The mound of blankets stirred. Sam heard the soft prrrrtt of breaking wind, followed by a small sigh, and scrunched his nose in disgust.
“Nice. And good morning to you too, asshole.”
What little good mood he had completely evaporated. Stomping into the bathroom, Sam relieved himself, washed his hands and face and returned to the main room. On his way to the tiny kitchenette, he was greeted by another expulsion of wind from his still slumbering brother, and rolled his eyes.
“Maybe I should put some Beano in your coffee,” he grumbled under his breath.
A grunt issued from the occupied bed just before the blankets were tossed aside.
“Phew! Did somethin’ die in here?” Dean fanned the air as he sat up.
“If it did, it crawled up your ass first.”
“Well, aren’t you Mister Sunshine this morning.” Getting up, the elder hunter staggered to the bathroom, his backside emitting a short, sharp prrt with every step.
Sam rolled his eyes again. Switching on the room’s ancient coffee maker, he leaned moodily against the counter top to watch the water heat up.
A loud fart echoed from the bathroom.
“God, Dean, what the hell was in that burger you had last night?”
Huffing in annoyance, the younger Winchester rubbed absently at a sore spot on his right shoulder.
A few minutes later, the coffee machine began its gurgling song, accompanied by a series of gaseous explosions from the other side of the wall. Sam heard the toilet flush as he pulled two mugs from the cupboard, silently vowing not to go into the bathroom for at least a half hour.
Dean reappeared, heading for the scent of freshly brewed coffee like a bloodhound. Settling at the tiny table, he elbowed his brother’s laptop aside and wrapped one hand around the steaming cup, inhaling its aroma before taking a sip.
Sam turned to lean against the counter top while he observed his sibling. So far he hadn’t seen Dean make a move towards the thumb he’d been so desperate to chow down on the night before, but Sam wasn’t about to take that as a sign that whatever entity had killed the hiker had stopped influencing his brother.
Sensing the scrutiny, the elder hunter looked up. “What? Somethin’ on my face?”
“You feeling okay this morning, Dean?”
“Never better, dude.”
The younger Winchester gnawed on his bottom lip. Despite the four solid hours of research he’d done the previous night, he was no nearer to working out just what they were up against, or how and why it was affecting his sibling.
Dean leant slightly to the right, sighing in satisfaction as he let go another bout of gas. Dropping one hand to his belly, he gave it a rub, grinning at Sam’s pained expression.
“Do you have to do that?”
“Just cuttin’ the cheese, Sammy.”
“Yeah, but did it have to be Limburger?” Sam growled, fanning the air before his face.
“Pots and kettles mean anything to you?”
“Oh, come on, Sam, you’re the shorts dusting king.” Dean rolled his eyes in response to his brother’s bitch-face. “If they could find some way to turn your gas into – well, gas – you’d single-handedly solve the energy crisis.”
The shorter hunter chuckled, passed gas again and put his cup down. “Whoa, that was a good one.”
“You are so disgusting.”
Stepping to the door as Dean returned to the bathroom, Sam opened it in an attempt to air the room out. He heaved a sigh and leaned against the doorjamb, vowing not to use the can for at least an hour.
* * * * *
Sam felt a tap on his shoulder as he reached out to open the diner’s door. Looking back, he met his sibling’s slightly discomfited gaze. “What?”
“Dude...” Dean rubbed at his belly with one hand while the other made a vague gesture towards the half-filled parking lot. “I’m gonna take a walk around the building – see if I can get rid of this freakin’ gas.”
The taller hunter nodded in agreement. Every step his brother had taken since leaving the motel room had been accompanied by a short blast of wind. Sam found it hard to believe that so much gas could be inside one person’s intestine.
Dean tugged at Sam’s sleeve as the younger man made to turn away. Inclining his head towards the diner’s warm, cheery interior, he continued, “Hey, go make sure Lucille’s not workin’ today, huh?”
Sam nodded again, knowing without asking what his brother meant. Lucille had been the waitress on duty the previous day, and had obviously been witness to Dean’s embarrassing childhood regression when he’d gone for the early morning coffee run. Stepping inside the building, Sam quickly scoped out the place before taking a seat at one of the booths along the wide front windows. A few seconds later he heard a tap on the glass and looked up to see Dean peering in, one eyebrow quirked in query. Sam gave his brother the thumbs up in answer.
The coast was clear – a different waitress was working that morning.
Flashing a crooked grin, Dean raised a thumb in acknowledgement. At Sam’s arched eyebrow, he held up a finger, waited a beat, then scrunched his nose and shook his head, his other hand dropping to rest against his belt buckle. Dean sighed, made a circling motion with the finger still held aloft to indicate he’d do one more circuit, and strolled out of sight, his shoulders slightly hunched.
Sam placed their orders with the smiling, fifty-something redhead who approached the booth, and fiddled with the salt shaker while he waited for Dean to return. At least he’s stopped sucking his thumb, he mused quietly, catching sight of the elder Winchester pacing the perimeter of the parking lot.
Although what the sudden onset of thumb-sucking had to do with the hunt, he had absolutely no clue. But something had to be affecting Dean, and it made sense that it was something supernatural. A grown man and seasoned hunter didn’t suddenly decide to regress to three-year-old habits on a whim. Even in the grip of his post-Hell nightmares, Dean had never exhibited anything like that kind of behaviour.
No, Sam reasoned, it had to be tied to the hunt somehow. He just had to keep looking until he found the connection.
The tiny bell over the door tinkled, pulling the hunter from his thoughts. He glanced up to see the familiar figure of his sibling approaching the table. The elder man’s face bore a grim expression and Sam stiffened warily – something had obviously happened.
Dean rested his hands on the table top. “Cops found another one, or at least what’s left of him,” he began, leaning forward as the waitress returned with their breakfast. “We gotta – ”
Suddenly the loudest expulsion of gas so far that morning blasted from Dean’s butt like a trumpet fanfare. The entire diner froze; the redheaded waitress almost dropping her tray in shock as the fart continued on for almost half a minute, changing pitch four times before rising to a high whine that set the patrons’ teeth on edge. The bout of gas ended in a half dozen flat pops like a badly working exhaust pipe.
Through it all Dean stood frozen, his horrified face turning crimson from the neck up. His hands gripped the table’s edge so tightly Sam swore he could hear the Formica creak under the strain. Slowly, the elder man straightened up as the eruption finally stopped, his wide green eyes filled with mortification.
A teenager sitting at a table near the back sniggered loudly. At the table behind the stricken hunter, an attractive young blonde was gagging as she slid from her seat and rushed for the door, leaving her half-finished latte and raisin toast behind. Dropping the newspaper he’d been reading, a businessman perched on a stool at the counter gave an indignant huff as he eyed the stranger up and down.
“God, son, haven’t you ever heard of Gasex?”
Dean’s face went white.
Lowering his head, he whispered, “Get breakfast to go,” before spinning on his heel. He retreated from the diner as fast as he could, feeling the shocked and disgusted stares of the patrons stabbing into his back like a dozen tiny knives.
Sam turned startled hazel eyes to the waitress, his own face as red as his brother’s had been. Wishing that the ground would open up and swallow him, he chewed for a moment on his lower lip before dredging up a sickly smile.
“Um – can we – have that to go?”
* * * * *
“Place is crawling with cops,” Dean observed grumpily, resting his hands over the steering wheel while he studied the flurry of activity.
After the disastrous event at the diner, the brothers had headed for the parking area at the town end of the hiking trail and eaten their breakfast in strained silence, punctuated by regular and increasingly pungent gas emissions from the elder hunter. The cops were already on the scene, scouring every inch of the area where the remains of the second slaughtered hiker had been discovered just after daybreak by a local man out walking his dog.
Sam nodded. “Our cover’ll hold.”
“Yeah, but we can’t get a proper look at the scene until they’ve gone.” Dean’s sweeping gesture took in the duffle bag on the back seat, loaded with equipment.
“Well,” Sam replied, sliding from the Chevy, “We can at least go see what they’ve found so far.”
Glad of the fresh air after the odiferous confines of the car, Sam took a deep breath before approaching the nearest representative of the law – a young man who looked as if he was fresh out of the academy.
Easy meat for a skilled hunter, Sam added silently to himself. “Officer – hey.”
The freshman cop turned, studying Sam’s face before dropping his gaze to the proffered ID proclaiming one Samuel Bonham to be a duly appointed representative of the FBI Cheyenne field office.
“Who called you guys in? No offence,” the young man hastily added, a blush staining his cheeks.
“We got word of the case. Had something similar down in our neck of the woods last year.”
“Yeah? I wasn’t here then. I just graduated six months ago.”
We have a winner... “So, what have you got so far?”
“Not much. Looks like the guy was torn apart and the body dragged off somewhere, same M.O. as the one last week.” Looking up as Dean joined the pair, the cop nodded affably and continued. “We found shreds of a backpack, a water bottle and a shoe, all covered in blood. There was even a blood spray halfway up the tree where we found the shoe. Probably from an artery or something.”
“But no body? No human remains aside from the blood?” Sam pressed, trying not to wince as another burst of gas erupted from his brother’s ass.
The young cop gave a strangled cough and took a step back. “Uh – no. Nothing except blood. Lots of it. Whatever it was must’ve let the guy bleed out before it took him.”
Dean pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling the beginnings of a tension headache pounding behind his eyes. “So, you got any idea what’s caused it?”
“Um – well...” Interrupted by another loud blast of flatulence, the local man scrunched up his nose. “It – uh...God...”
Giving a put-upon sigh, the elder Winchester gestured towards the nearby forest. “I’ll go have a look around.”
“Yeah, all right,” Sam gasped.
Dean huffed and stalked off, every third step punctuated with a prrrRRRT of expelled wind.
The rookie cop shook his head in amazement, turning to Sam once Dean was out of earshot. “Your partner – man, he’s got some seriously bad gas. Word has it he almost emptied the diner this morning.”
Sam bit his lip. “Uh – yeah, we – we’ve been – on the road, you know – on a case down near the border – had Mexican two nights runnin’. He kinda...” He patted his stomach and shrugged helplessly.
The young cop nodded sagely. “The post-burrito cloud of doom, huh?”
“Yeah, something like that.” Sam winced. God, is the whole damned town talking about my brother’s gas? Can we just get back to the hunt here? “So – what’s the theory?”
“Seriously? Smart money’s on a bear.”
The hunter frowned. “I didn’t think there were any bears in these woods.”
“The theory is that maybe a circus bear escaped and went wild. Makes sense that it’s killin’ humans, I guess. Probably revenge for makin’ it wear a funny hat and ride a tricycle. Well,” the helpful young officer continued, hitching up his pants. “I’d better go join the search; otherwise we’ll be out here all damn night.”
Resisting the urge to roll his eyes, Sam headed back to the Impala. He turned to lean against the hood, folded his arms and observed his brother as the shorter hunter skirted the small army of law enforcement and media that was scouring the scene of the latest crime.
Dean was right – they’d never be able to examine the site properly with all the cops and reporters hanging around. Their best bet would be to research as much as they could, then come back once the cops were finished, bringing all their equipment to do a proper scan.
And it would also give Sam a chance to find out how the hell his brother was connected with the hunt. Because he was sure they had to be tied in somehow. It was just too weird to be anything but supernatural in origin.
Sure, it wasn’t uncommon for them to have gas – a steady diet of junk food wasn’t exactly kind to the gastro-intestinal tract at times. But Dean’s current wind problem was bordering on the ridiculous, and it wasn’t even midday yet. And then there was the thumb-sucking from the day before.
No, Sam decided as he watched – and heard – Dean walking back to the car, there had to be a connection. He just had to find it.
Hopefully before Dean could blow a hole in the ozone layer.
* * * * *
Their room was really starting to smell like a sulphur and methane factory, Sam groused silently as he dropped two bags of takeout food on the table. Every window and door had been opened to allow as much fresh air inside as possible, but it still couldn’t combat the malodorous force nine gales howling from Dean’s butt at ludicrously regular intervals.
And Dean had flatly refused to go anywhere as his wind had steadily increased throughout the afternoon, confining himself to the motel in sheer embarrassment. This left Sam to do all the footwork like gathering research material and food supplies. Not that he minded – it also meant he got to periodically escape the toxic atmosphere of their room and fill his lungs with clean air for awhile.
The elder hunter glanced at the bags as Sam tossed the Impala’s keys onto the nightstand. “What did you get?”
“Coffee, doughnuts, burgers and fries.”
“Fart machines shouldn’t have pie. They shouldn’t even have burgers.”
“Not funny, Sam.”
Dean shot a deadly glare in his brother’s direction before digging into the nearest bag. Pulling out one of the burgers, he tore off the wrapper and bit savagely into the bun, his face like a thundercloud.
“Anyway,” he mumbled around a mouthful of food. “I took a whole God-damned bottle of that crap you picked up from the drugstore, and it did jack.”
Sam sighed heavily as he dropped onto the opposite chair.
“Yeah, I noticed. And there’s more bad news – cops have got an armed patrol out on the hiking trail to make sure no one strays into the area tonight. There’s no way we can slip past them.” He threw his brother a pointed look as another rumbling blast filled the room. “Especially since they’ll hear you coming a mile off, Foghorn-ass.”
“Screw you.” The elder hunter glared heatedly at his sibling. “So what the hell’re we supposed to do?”
“Wait till morning, then go out at first light – see if the cops have gone. Maybe by then you’ll have stopped your butt-cheek trumpet solo.”
“Seriously, man, we can’t do anything tonight except go over the details we’ve got, and see if we missed anything.”
Dean grunted in reluctant acknowledgement before moving to his bed with the remains of his dinner. Amidst the repeated gaseous explosions, he managed to gulp down the food and coffee in record time, then picked up one of the evidence folders Sam had put together.
The evening dragged on, the brothers finally calling it a night just after ll.30pm. No nearer to figuring out what they were up against than when they’d first hit town, the hunters retired to bed in defeat, hoping for a break the next morning.
Given his brother’s continued dark mood, Sam prayed for Dean’s sake that the wind, like the thumb-sucking, would disappear with the new day. He just hoped that it wasn’t going to be replaced by something worse. Rolling onto his side as Dean came out of the bathroom, he threw a hopeful smile at his sibling.
It wasn’t returned.
“Good night, Dean.”
“Shut up, Sam.”
* * * * *
Hmm, what is up with Dean? First thumb-sucking, now wind - whatever will be next? *gives evil grin*
See you all next week!
Member No.: 11,144
Joined: 16-October 06
Bec – yes, poor boys. Dean through sheer embarrassment, and Sam because of the smell – lol. I’ve tried to make things as weird for Dean (and downright embarrassing) as possible – I’m just evil that way. So glad you’re enjoying it, and that I could give you a laugh or three to brighten your week.
Steffs – it is indeed! LOL. I was up for a little Dean torture – in the weirdest possible way. Ah, if you could only get a peek at my little list....but then I’d have to kill you, and it’s bad policy to kill readers off – lol. I’m chuffed that I gave you a laugh, hun. Hope you like the next chapter.
JensAngel – awww, thanks hun! I’m really thrilled that you’re enjoying it. I love the humour ones – they lighten out all the angst a bit. And I’ve always loved Dean’s sense of humour, and the way he uses it to diffuse or deflect those tough situations. Sam’s no slouch in the snappy comeback stakes either, when he gets going. As for what’s in store for the boys next, especially Dean....well, you’re about to find out....*grins wickedly*...
And to my wonderful lurkers – I know you’re out there, I can see the read count going up. I do hope that you’re enjoying the story as much as I did writing it, and that it’s giving you a chuckle or two.
All right – let’s rock and roll!
Day Three – Summer Of Love
The first thing he became aware of was a weight settling on the edge of his bed. The second thing was the absence of smell – or rather, the absence of gas. All he could detect was the fresh scent of soap and the faint spicy tang of Dean’s favourite deodorant.
“Are you awake yet, little dude?”
Sam’s eyes flew open at the familiar, if overly saccharine tone of his brother. Dean’s beaming face hovered above him, haloed by the faint pre-dawn light filtering through the partly open drapes.
“There you are. Come on, Sammy, up and at ‘em. We got work to do.” Reaching out, Dean ruffled his brother’s sleep-tousled hair before getting to his feet. “Coffee’s almost ready – it’ll be done by the time you finish your shower.”
The younger Winchester struggled to sit up, his mouth hanging open in surprise. He took a tentative sniff – definitely no gas filling the room like a noxious cloud. Swiftly rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he checked his brother’s hands as the shorter hunter strolled across to the kitchenette. No saliva-coated thumb met his bleary gaze.
So what the hell else was going on, he wondered. Dean had just ruffled his hair like he was five or something.
Sensing no movement behind him, Dean turned and eyed his brother in fond exasperation. “Sam, come on, get up. We’ve got a big day ahead of us. Don’t make me come and pull you out of there.”
His bewilderment growing by the second, Sam scrambled from the bed and hit the shower, finishing in record time. Quickly getting dressed, he returned to the main room and sank down onto one of the chairs as his sibling placed a steaming cup of coffee before him. Looking up at the elder man, he was about to speak when Dean suddenly stooped over him. The shorter Winchester gently smoothed a wrinkle in Sam’s shirt collar before patting him on the cheek.
“Good boy. Drink your coffee, then let’s go. I’ll take you to McDonalds for breakfast on the way.”
Sam froze, his stunned gaze never leaving his sibling as Dean grabbed his own mug and settled on the opposite chair.
Dean drained his cup, set it on the table and gestured towards Sam’s untouched brew. “Dude, come on, focus here.” He tapped a forefinger against the file that had been pushed to one side. “We gotta go find the big scary monster, remember? Time’s a’wastin’, Sammy.”
The tall hunter swallowed, his eyes widening in disbelief. “B-big scary monster?” he spluttered. “Did you just say big scary monster?”
“Don’t worry, Sammy, you just stay behind me. You’ll be okay.”
“What is it, little dude?”
Taking a deep breath, Sam paused for a moment to gather his thoughts. “Dean – how – how old do you think I am?”
Green eyes sparkling with mirth, the shorter hunter stood up. “Sammy, Sammy, Sammy – have you lost track of your birthday again? Dude, you’re twenty-five, okay? I guess with all that Encyclopaedia of Weirdness crammed into your freaky brain, some of the small stuff just slips through the cracks, huh? Lucky you’ve got me around to remember for you.”
Sam rocked forward as his brother’s hand slapped against the middle of his back. Pushing the untouched coffee aside, he got slowly to his feet and eyed the elder hunter warily. “You feeling okay, Dean?”
“I’m great. It’s a new day, the sun’s rising, the air’s fresh, and we’ve got a hunt to check out. I’m awesome!”
Dean’s euphoric mood continued all the way to the local McDonald’s drive through, where he informed the cashier that he loved her for giving him a double shot of coffee. He scored a free hash brown and promptly split it in two, giving one half to his astounded sibling before stuffing his share into his mouth.
After leaving the restaurant, Dean slowed the Impala to a crawl, stopping every few hundred yards to admire a view, a rose bush in bloom, a dew-sprinkled spider’s web suspended between the spindly branches of a chokecherry bush, and a cat stalking a moth.
Finally Sam couldn’t take it any more – at the rate they were going, it would be midday before they reached the crime scenes. “Dude – pull over.”
Dean blinked in surprise. “Why, what’s wrong, kiddo?”
“Just – let me drive, okay?” Sam chewed on his lip for a moment, one hand on the door, his best puppy dog expression on his face. “If I drive, then you can concentrate better on the scenery.”
The shorter hunter’s eyes lit up as he gave his brother a beaming smile.
“Aw, Sammy, that’s so thoughtful. You’re a good little brother. You kinda went off the reservation for a while there, but you got your head on straight now.” Sliding from the Impala, Dean strolled around the back, intercepting his sibling at the halfway point and pulling the startled younger man into a hug. “I sure raised you right.”
“Uh – y-yeah. Um, you – you did,” Sam stammered, feeling the heat of a blush creep slowly across his face as he hugged his brother back.
A few seconds later, Dean released his grip and stepped around the thoroughly embarrassed younger man. “That’s my boy.”
His mind whirling at breakneck speed, Sam slid behind the wheel and waited for his sibling to get settled in the passenger seat before moving off. Trying to ignore Dean’s running commentary on how beautiful everything was; he mentally reviewed every single detail he’d gone through the previous night, desperately searching for a clue to his brother’s bizarre behaviour over the last three days.
Something in the area had to be affecting Dean. And the daily symptoms seemed to be hitting harder and faster each time. The first day, once his attention had been drawn to it, Dean had been aware that he had a thing for his own thumb. He just hadn’t been able to resist the temptation. The excessive wind – well, that was just crazy, Sam thought ruefully to himself. But this – Dean didn’t seem to be at all conscious of the fact that he was flying high on life.
Sam wondered whether the two victims had shown signs of unusual or bizarre behaviour before their deaths. Fighting down a cold shiver at the thought, he stepped a little harder on the gas, making up for lost time on the way out to the parking area at the edge of the woods.
The sun was just peeping over the treetops when the Chevy arrived. Dean was the first to alight, twisting around to rest his elbows on the roof and admire the view.
“Isn’t that just a gorgeous sunrise?”
Sam’s mouth fell open.
“Have you ever seen anything more beautiful, Sammy? Look at the way the dew sparkles when the sun hits it – it looks like someone scattered a handful of diamonds over everything.”
The younger man cradled his head in one hand.
“Oh, and look – the cops are gone. Time to get to work, brother of mine.”
Humming cheerfully, Dean pulled the equipment duffle from the back seat, slung it over his shoulder and set off towards the faint trail at the edge of the parking area.
* * * * *
The sun was approaching its zenith when the brothers finally finished examining the site where the first victim’s death had taken place. It yielded nothing to the weary hunters, just as the second victim’s site had. There were no tracks and no clues; apart from the scanty evidence already gathered by the police, and the copious amounts of blood staining the ground and surrounding vegetation.
Sam huffed out a frustrated sigh and dropped onto a fallen tree trunk at the edge of the trail, pulling a bottle of water from the duffle. He downed half the contents, mopped his forehead with the edge of his shirt, and glanced up at the elder hunter.
“So, what now?”
Dean pursed his lips as he looked around. “That’s a lot of blood. It just doesn’t seem right, you know?”
Sitting up a little straighter, Sam concentrated on his brother. No one could put together a puzzle as fast as Dean – not even their dad. “What do you mean? The amount of blood? You think there was more than one victim?”
“No. No, it doesn’t seem right that such a terrible thing should happen in such a peaceful, pretty place like this. That such evil could exist here in this idyllic setting.” The hunter patted the nearest tree in sympathy, his face drawn into a sorrowful frown.
Idyllic? What the hell... “Uh – yeah, all right, I guess. But – what about your theory?”
“Hmm? Theory? What theory?”
“What do you think it is? You know – the big scary monster.”
“Oh, right.” Dean glanced around again before bending to retrieve a spare clip from the equipment bag. Changing the clip in his handgun, he shoved the original in his jeans pocket, checked the safety and tucked the pistol back into his waistband.
“Silver rounds,” he explained to his puzzled sibling. Stepping closer to the younger man, he rested a hand on the tousled chestnut head. “If you’re in doubt, stick to the basics – salt, iron and silver.” Suddenly his attention was diverted from his brother to a gap in the trees behind Sam. “Sam, look!”
“What?” Twisting around on the fallen trunk, Sam reached for the Taurus 9mil in his own waistband.
“A whole field of wildflowers!” Dean wormed his way between the trees, coming to a halt in the middle of the tiny clearing beyond. Turning to face his brother, he spread his arms wide. “Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?”
The green-eyed hunter sank to his knees, then with a happy sigh he flopped onto his back in the midst of the colourful nodding flower heads. The hunt was temporarily forgotten while Dean blissed out, gazing dreamily up at the passing clouds.
Sam stared aghast at his high-as-a-kite brother for a full two minutes before pulling his cell phone from his jacket pocket. Quickly dialling a number from memory, he cast an uneasy glance at the surrounding forest while he waited for the other party to pick up. This was the final straw – he needed help, and fast. Dean was definitely being influenced by whatever the hell was killing the hikers.
And Sam had a terrible feeling that the thing would be coming after his brother next.
A gruff voice barked into his ear, startling him back to the task at hand. “Bobby, hey, it’s me.”
“Sam, what’s up?”
“Uh – we’re in Casper. And uh – Dean’s...”
“Drinkin’? Missin’? On a mission to single-handedly kill every evil son of a bitch and work his way through every attractive unattached female between the east and west coast?”
“Uh, yeah – I mean no.” Sam squeezed the bridge of his nose. “Um – we’re on a job. We don’t know what it is yet, but the thing’s taken two hikers so far, and....it’s affecting Dean. In a really weird way.”
“Um, well – the first day, he...” The younger Winchester took a deep breath before continuing. “He uh – was sucking his – his thumb.”
“Sucking his thumb. And on the second day, he was passing gas, like all the time.”
There was a short pause before the demon hunter responded, his tone laced with suspicion and disbelief. “If you boys’re tryin’ to drag me into one of your friggin’ prank wars, I swear to God I’ll kick your asses clear into next week.”
“I’m not, Bobby, I swear! I need help on this! Dean’s – today it’s like he’s high on life! He keeps getting distracted, hugging trees, looking at flowers, hugging me, patting me on the friggin’ head... I don’t know what’s wrong, and I can’t find any connection between him and the victims, but there’s gotta be something because he was fine when we pulled out of Shoshone, so it’s gotta be something here, and the only thing here is the thing that took the hikers, so, so it’s –”
“Sam, slow down, damn it. For God’s sake take a breath occasionally.”
Sam obediently drew in a huge gulp of air, trying to quell the panic that was churning in his gut.
“Okay, now give me what you’ve got – the condensed version.”
“A hiker went missing from this trail last week. The cops found his shredded backpack, and a lot of blood. I mean a lot – like he’d bled out right there. But no other human remains. And yesterday morning they found another one – same M.O. No tracks, and the blood they found was human – DNA tests on the blood identified both victims. And there’s nothing linking the two, apart from the fact that they were hikers.”
“And you say Dean’s acting strange? He’s not just yankin’ your chain?”
“God, no! He almost farted down the walls of the local diner yesterday, and the day before he was sucking his thumb before he was even aware of it.”
“Well, I don’t know about Dean – I’ll have to look through a few books and see what I can find. But the hikers... the moon’s not right so it can’t be a werewolf.”
Sam shook his head. “No, I already discounted that. It was a new moon three nights ago.” Something tugged at his subconscious; some barely remembered fact about a creature that liked to hunt on dark nights. “It’s not a Wendigo either. And it’s definitely not a demon – there are no demon signs within a hundred mile radius.”
“Okay, I’ll see what I can dig up. It’ll take me a day or two before I can leave. In the meantime, try and stay out of trouble. Where’s your brother now?”
The young hunter bit his lip, throwing a pained glance in his sibling’s direction.
“He’s uh...he’s...lying in a field...of wildflowers.”
There was a long moment of silence from the other end of the phone. Sam winced, cradling his head with his free hand while he waited for the inevitable fallout.
“Uh – lying in a field of wildflowers.”
This time the silence stretched even longer.
Suddenly Sam’s vision was obscured by bits of greenery topped with bright pink and yellow splashes. Velvety, pollen-coated petals tickled his nose and cheeks and he reared back, emitting a startled sneeze.
“Sammy, you gotta smell these,” Dean enthused, shoving the handful of wildflowers into his brother’s face once more. “Aren’t they beautiful?” He spied the phone clutched in Sam’s hand. “Hey, who’s that on the phone?”
“It’s Bobby,” Sam growled, pushing the bouquet away from his face before sneezing again. The cell was suddenly plucked from his hand. “Wait, what...”
“Bobby? Hey, man, how ya doin?” A radiant smile lit Dean’s face. “You are? Ah, that’s great, man. That’s great. I’m so happy for ya.” He listened intently for a few moments. “I’m awesome. I’m out here in the sunshine, and there’s trees and flowers and birds, and my little baby brother’s here with me where he belongs instead of runnin’ around with that evil demon witch-bitch gettin’ himself into trouble – what more could I want, huh? Hey, you wanna come out and join us? Oh, okay.... Sam – yeah, he’s right here. I’ll put him back on. Love you, Bobby – ‘bye.”
Dean handed the phone back, his smile undimmed. “Bobby wants to talk to you, Sammy.”
Sam gave his brother a pained grin in return as he put the cell against his ear. “Hey, Bobby.”
“I’m on my way.”
Relief flooded the taller hunter as he ended the call. “Bobby’s comin’ out to help us with the hunt.”
“That’s great, I’m so happy he changed his mind,” Dean replied, casting a look around the woods.
Suddenly he stiffened, his eyes narrowing as he focussed on a spot on the opposite side of the trail. With the bunch of flowers still clutched in one hand, he strode rapidly across the ground and dropped into a crouch, his smile fading.
“I got a track here. Four toes, looks like they’re claw-tipped. Way too big to be anything normal.” Straightening up, Dean looked into the forest. “It’s pointing in that direction – towards the thicker part of the woods. Away from the sunlight.”
“It likes the darkness – hunts on nights with little or no moon,” Sam replied softly as he rose to his feet.
“Nocturnal hunter, which means it’s gotta have a lair for daylight hours. If we can find that lair, we might be able to get a look at the creature, figure out what it is and how to take it down.” Dean carefully tucked the bouquet into his jacket pocket, palmed his Colt pistol and quietly flicked off the safety. “Stay close,” he murmured, sidling between the tree trunks.
Taking point, Dean communicated to Sam via hand signals as they moved almost silently through the forest, every sense on high alert. Overhead, the treetops formed an unbroken canopy, causing a twilight effect below the intertwined branches. It was the perfect place for a creature of the night to hole up.
Now all they had to do was find it.
An hour of tracking led them to a small, low cliff face. Dean wordlessly pointed out the half dozen or so hollows and gaps in the rock, some of them deep enough to be called caves. Starting at opposite ends of the twenty foot expanse, the hunters worked their way steadily towards the middle, examining every inch of the granite surface.
They found nothing.
Puzzled, Sam stepped back to study the trees immediately to the right of the rock face, leaving Dean to re-examine the cliff. He turned to check on his brother’s progress after ten minutes, to find the shorter hunter running his hand over the rough surface.
“Dean, you got something?” he hissed softly.
“No, just – admiring the textures and colours in this granite. It’s kinda pretty, don’t you think?”
“Pretty...” Sam let out a low groan as he took a step towards his sibling.
An answering growl came from the trees, raising the fine hairs on the back of the younger Winchester’s neck.
Dean’s head snapped around, his eyes widening in shock. “Uh, Sammy?”
“Big scary monster.”
Slowly, Sam turned. A huge black shadow was emerging from a nearby deadfall, glowing yellow eyes narrowed in a hate-filled glare. The creature growled again, lunging for the nearest target as the hunters brought their guns into line.
Sam pulled the trigger three times in rapid succession, peripherally aware of the echoing boom of his brother’s gun about five feet behind him. The monster screamed, rearing up on its hind legs as the bullets impacted against its obsidian hide. In a move almost too fast to follow, it swung a massive paw, and Sam had a brief glimpse of tufted ears and long, razor-sharp teeth.
Suddenly the stray thought that had been nagging him all morning forced its way to the forefront of his mind. He recognised the creature, and realised with a sinking heart that there was no way this type of big scary monster could be influencing his brother’s behaviour.
Then the side of his head exploded in pain, and everything went black.
* * * * *
Sam groaned his way back to consciousness. Feeling a warm hand grip his shoulder, he peeled open his lead-weighted eyelids to stare groggily into the concerned face of his sibling.
“Sammy? Thank God,” Dean breathed. “Dude, you with me this time?”
“Th’ss t’mmm?” the younger hunter slurred, raising a hand to his throbbing head.
“You’ve kinda been out of it for hours. Puking and stuff, but not fully awake or aware, you know? I’ve been so worried about you, little brother. Almost took you to the hospital, but you kept sayin’ no.”
“I only winged the son of a bitch – it took off after it knocked you down. So I got you the hell out of there. Took me a couple of hours to get you back to the Impala – we were pretty far in. I had to carry you the whole way.”
Sam groaned as his stomach roiled. Fighting the urge to vomit, he closed his eyes and settled back against the pillows. “T’lll’po.”
“I know, I know. Shhh, it’s okay. Big scary monster’s gone now. You’re gonna be okay.”
“Got – h’nt ‘t down...”
“I know.” Dean glanced at the clock on the nightstand. “But not tonight, little dude, not in the dark. Damned Tailypo’s as black as the inside of a demon’s heart – we’d never see it in time. We’ve got a better chance in the daylight.”
Opening his eyes, Sam looked up at Dean as the elder man ran a gentle hand through his bangs.
Dean smiled fondly down at his concussed brother. “How about I get you some water, huh?”
Sam watched his sibling walk across the room and fill a glass from the faucet in the kitchenette. Halfway back, Dean suddenly froze, his face going completely blank. As Sam struggled to prop himself up on one elbow, a faint glow surrounded Dean’s left foot, fading out after about ten seconds. The elder Winchester shuddered, blinked, and sucked in a gasp, his gaze turning to his brother.
Before Sam could process what had happened, his sibling dashed across the room, slammed the glass onto the nightstand and gathered the injured hunter into his arms. A sob wracked Dean’s frame as he gently cupped the back of Sam’s head and began to rock back and forth.
“I was so worried – you were so pale – I – I didn’t know how badly you were h-hurt....oh, Sammy...”
The stunned younger man shakily wrapped his arms around his crying brother, trying to ignore the growing nausea caused by Dean’s rocking. Closing his eyes just made it worse, so he concentrated his blurring gaze on the door while he reviewed the events of the last few moments. Sam cast a quick glance over Dean’s heaving shoulder at his watch, noting the time – 12.01am.
Dean had gone from warm and fuzzy to extreme emo in the blink of an eye, and it had happened right on midnight, the so-called witching hour. And that strange glow around his foot seemed to have something to do with it as well.
Sam blew out a sigh. Finally he had a clue as to his brother’s strange behaviour.
He only hoped he could figure out what the hell it meant.
* * * * *
Dun-dun-dunnnnnnn.......so, figured it out yet?
Have a great week, and I'll see you next Friday with Day Four!
Member No.: 7,354
Joined: 26-July 06
| Sorry sis, forgot to review here (and the site has changed since my last visit!) so will catch up with chapters 2 and 3!
Just loved that chapter Jules, so freaking funny!
Farting, so not funny for Dean or Sam, but it could have been worse, he could have had follow-through! Not good though that his trumpet solo at the diner had the whole town talking, down to the local rookie cop - no chance of flying under the radar on this hunt!
Still can't see what connection there could be between hikers getting mauled to death and Dean's predicament but the supernatural can be a strange thing! And how come only Dean is affected, not Sam and certainly not anyone else in the town?
Can't wait until next week's instalment to see what replaces Dean's farting, and something must as the title of this fic is 7 Days Of Hell and it's about to turn into day three! Can it be any more embarrassing than the thumb-sucking and farting - knowing you, YES!
Just loved this chapter with Dean like some sort of flower-child, love and peace everywhere! No wonder Sammy was freaked as his brother ruffled his hair, hugged trees and picked wildflowers. And certainly not surprised he rang Bobby! Gotta laugh at the older hunter, thinking he was being dragged into a prank war, until Dean came on the phone and finished talking to him by telling Bobby he loved him! No wonder he then told Sam he was immediately on his way - just hope he gets there quickly!
So Sam now has a clue, at the stoke of midnight a glow of light surrounds Dean's foot and whatever is affecting him changes! If Sam found it hard coping with high-on-life Dean, how's he going to cope with emo Dean, bursting into tears at the drop of a hat?
Member No.: 11,144
Joined: 16-October 06
| JensAngel – well, we find out in the next chapter just what is affecting Dean, and why. But figuring out the cause isn’t going to make it easy to find the solution – lol. There’s a little more Dean-tormenting to do before I’m finished. And yep, he’s PMS-ing something chronic. Whatever will Sam and Bobby do? ROFL! It’s going to be a rough ride. Thank you so much for reading.
Bec – aww, thanks for that. Flower-power Dean was pretty sweet, wasn’t he? All teddy-bear-ish – lol. Wonder what he’s going to do with those flowers he picked.... Oh – and we find out in the next chapter just what is going on....but can they stop it before they’re all driven crazy?
Aislinn – ahh, your hunter skills are good enough to make you an honorary Winchester. We actually find out in the next chapter what is happening. A boatload of cookies for you! Oh, hope that rib didn’t crack, hun – LOL. I have to admit, I was pretty proud of the fart chapter. Even I was giggling when I wrote the diner scene. Thanks for coming along for this crazy ride.
Sarah – whoops – I sort of forgot that you hadn’t, either. And yes, the site’s getting a facelift, obviously. Shame about the header banner – I didn’t think it had been up for that long. I rather liked it. I’m finding the font they’re using on the hot buttons a little hard to read – or perhaps it’s just my poor old eyes.
Glad you loved the trumpet solo of Dean’s – although I bet you’re thankful you’re not in the same room as him – ROFL! And yes, Dean’s spreading peace, love and happiness in buckets on day three. But at least Sam has a clue now – well, a sort of a one. Thank heavens Bobby’s on his way, eh? Thanks, sis.
Well, here we are on another Friday evening. All had a good week? Dean's not having a good week...... Day Four – Heroes Cry Too
When Bobby Singer pulled up outside the motel where the Winchesters were currently staying, he wasn’t prepared for the sight that met his faded blue eyes. His bearded face scrunched in confusion as he alighted from the Chevelle and cast a cautious glance around the parking lot before approaching the tall young man perched on a planter box with his feet resting against the Impala’s front bumper.
His shrewd gaze scrutinised Sam from head to foot, taking in the gauze bandage wrapped a little loosely around his head, slightly glazed eyes, slumped shoulders and morose countenance.
“Sam? What the hell happened to you, kid? Where’s your brother?”
Sam looked up, a petulant expression creeping across his pale face as he jerked a thumb over one shoulder. “Inside.”
“What’s he doin’ inside?”
Sam’s expression turned even sourer. “Watching a movie.”
, the demon hunter groused silently, It’s like pulling teeth
. “What’s goin’ on, Sam? Why the hell’re you sittin’ out here?”
“Are you kidding? No way am I gonna stay in there with that...” Sam waved a hand vaguely towards the room.
Bobby pushed back the brim of his trucker cap. “Okay, what the hell is goin’ on with you two?”
“You tell me, Bobby. ‘Cos I sure as hell can’t figure it out.” Sighing in frustration, the younger man raked a hand carefully through his hair.
“Well, why all this crap about a damned movie, anyway?” Bobby’s brows rose as Sam rolled his eyes. “Oh, I get it. He’s watchin’ some kinda hard-core porno, isn’t he?”
The demon hunter hesitated for a moment. What could be worse than porn?
Before Sam could say another word, the door to the Winchesters’ room was suddenly wrenched open, and Bobby’s jaw dropped in shock.
Dean stood in the doorway, his eyes red and swollen, tears flowing freely down his face, soft sobs shaking his tall frame. Reaching for a tissue from the box tucked under his arm, the elder Winchester blew his nose before stepping outside.
“Bobby...” the green-eyed hunter moaned, burying his face against the elder man’s shoulder. “Oh, Bobby, it was so – so sad...”
“S-she died, Bobby...Shelby died....”
“Who the hell’s Shelby?”
“...an’ M’Lynn wouldn’t l-let Drum help her....an’ poor li-little Jack Junior... an’....an’...” Dean sobbed, clutching at the demon hunter’s worn vest. “Oh, Bobby...”
Folding his arms, Sam let out a disgusted huff and stared at the sky. “Steel Magnolias.”
Feeling a tad out of his depth, Bobby hesitantly patted the distraught young man’s back. “I think we’d better take this little show inside, huh? Come on, boy,” he added, gently steering Dean back into the room.
Sam followed; nudging the door closed with one foot as his sibling sank onto the couch and cradled the box of tissues in his lap.
“Told you,” he muttered darkly in response to Bobby’s raised eyebrows.
The elder hunter stepped back to appraise the brothers for a few seconds before perching on the edge of the table. Resting one hand on his hip, he scratched at his beard with the other. “Okay, what the hell is goin’ on with you two?”
“It’s not me, it’s Dean!” Sam spat vehemently. Running a hand through the wispy bangs that had escaped from beneath the bandage, he began to pace. “Ever since we got here, he’s been acting weird. And every day it’s been something different.”
Dean sniffled, pouted, and snatched another handful of tissues from the box before noisily blowing his nose.
“First he regressed to a friggin’ three-year-old and sucked his thumb all day –”
“It wasn’t all day,” the elder Winchester protested weakly.
Bobby shushed him with a wave of his hand and a pointed glare.
“Then he became a one-man methane factory – I swear to God, even the flowers on the wallpaper were starting to wilt from the smell. If I’d tied him to the Impala’s roof and stuck a sail on the hood, we could have made forty miles an hour just from the gale coming out of his ass!”
This time the demon hunter’s glare targeted the younger brother. Thoroughly chastened, Sam dropped his gaze and toed the worn carpet.
“You wanna just stick to the facts so we can figure this out some time today? I ain’t gettin’ any younger, kid.”
“Yesterday he went all sixties flower-child and hugged everything,” Sam mumbled, avoiding Bobby’s eyes. “And today, he’s crying and watching chick flick movies.”
“And?” Bobby prompted. “The hunt?”
“It’s a Tailypo,” Dean tearfully informed the elder man. “Biggest one I’ve ever seen.”
Bobby folded his arms as his glance switched between the two young hunters. “Tailypos can’t influence people like this,” he stated firmly.
“I know.” Sighing heavily, Sam sank onto the edge of his bed. He sat hunched in an attitude of defeat, elbows on knees and hands loosely clasped.
“I’m guessin’ you already checked for the usual suspects?”
“Yeah, I did. Scanned for EMF while he was in the shower, and put holy water in his coffee. I got nothin’.”
Dean’s chin quivered in a mixture of hurt and indignation. “You thought I was possessed? After I saved the flowers for you to make your head feel better? How could you, Sam?”
The younger Winchester studiously avoided looking at the half-wilted bunch of wildflowers arranged haphazardly in a glass on his side of the shared nightstand.
“So,” Bobby interjected before the brothers’ usual bickering could start. “What happened to your head, Sam?”
“Tailypo got me. We were looking for its lair after we found some tracks at the side of the hiking trail...”
found the tracks,” Dean muttered petulantly.
“...and it got the drop on us,” Sam finished with a pointed glare at his sibling. “’Cos you
got distracted looking at all the pretty rocks.”
Dean shot to his feet and threw the tissue box to the floor, his whole body trembling with the force of his supernaturally tweaked emotions.
“I said I was sorry I screwed up and you got hurt!” he yelled, his eyes filling with tears. “You don’t have to keep being such a bitch about it!”
Storming into the bathroom, the distraught hunter slammed the door behind him. Choked sobs issued from behind the wooden barrier a second later, and Bobby eyed the younger Winchester in disgust.
Sam stretched out an arm in a belated attempt to halt his sibling’s headlong rush from the room. “Dean...” Sighing again in frustration, he let his hand drop and switched his gaze to their surrogate father. “See what I mean?”
“Yeah, I see it. I also see that you’re not friggin’ helping.”
The taller hunter’s mouth dropped open in hurt surprise.
“Go get us some coffee or somethin’. Take a walk, go for a drive, I don’t care – just make yourself scarce for ten minutes while I try and get your brother calmed down so we can figure out what the hell’s goin’ on.”
“But...I didn’t....I wasn’t...”
Bobby’s eyes narrowed in warning as he jerked a thumb towards the door. “Git!”
Waiting until the front door banged shut behind the younger man, Bobby sighed gustily before heading for the bathroom. He knocked softly on the door, wincing at the broken sobs coming from within.
“Dean, come on out, son.”
Bobby tried the knob, not surprised to find the door was locked. “Just open the door, Dean, come on. Sam’s not here. I sent him out for coffee. It’s just you and me.”
“’M not coming out!”
The grizzled demon hunter’s jaw tightened in determination. “Boy, you open this friggin’ door right now or so help me, I’ll kick it down! Don’t make me come in there and get you!”
A stifled gasp preceded the soft thud of footsteps. Suddenly the lock clicked and the door opened a crack, revealing Dean’s tear-streaked face peering worriedly through the gap.
“S-sam’s not here?”
“Nope.” Bobby reassured the upset young man. “He’ll be gone for a little while, so you can come out now.”
Dean sniffled wetly. “O-okay.”
Making sure that Dean was following, Bobby led the way out to the beds, perching on the end of Sam’s while his young friend settled gingerly on the opposite one.
“Okay, son, how about you tell me what happened with the Tailypo, huh?”
Dean’s face crumpled. Slowly leaning forward, he let his head come to rest against Bobby’s shoulder, sobs and hiccups wracking his frame as he tried to tell the elder man about the hunt.
Bobby understood about one word in four, and tried to piece together the missing bits. “So, you didn’t find its lair?”
“Yeah, okay. I think I get the picture.” Bobby awkwardly rubbed a hand across Dean’s heaving back.
Finally the younger hunter’s sobs died down to hitched breaths, sniffles and ragged sighs. He pulled away, wiping the back of one hand across his face in an effort to dry his tear-soaked cheeks. Bobby patted him on the shoulder before retrieving the tissue box from the floor near the television. Smiling gratefully, Dean grabbed a handful of tissues, dried his face and blew his nose.
A soft knock sounded at the door, causing both hunters to glance up. Bobby opened it and Sam stepped hesitantly into the room, his chagrined gaze seeking out his sibling’s as he placed a tray of coffee and a paper bag on the tiny table. Fishing for a moment in the depths of the bag, Sam withdrew a napkin-wrapped jelly doughnut and approached his brother, holding out the treat.
“Uh – I got your favourite,” he ventured softly, chewing his lower lip as he took Bobby’s place on the bed.
Dean sniffled, his chin quivering as his hurt-filled eyes flicked from Sam’s puppy dog expression to the sugary doughnut in the younger hunter’s hand.
“Thanks,” he mumbled, accepting the peace offering as well as the silent apology.
Sam let out a relieved sigh, throwing a nervous glance at Bobby. “Um – I – I just remembered something while I was at the diner. Something strange happened last night – well, this morning. Uh – actually, right on midnight. Dean – his mood changed exactly at 12am. And there was this weird glow around his foot – his left foot, I think. Just for a few seconds.”
The bearded hunter frowned. “A glow?”
“Yeah. I remember it was just after I woke up. I was still a little out of it.” Shrugging in apology, Sam flicked a glance at his brother. “Dean was getting me some water, and he just stopped, right in the middle of the floor. His face went blank, like he was completely zoned out. Then his foot glowed, and...”
“And?” Bobby prompted impatiently as the taller Winchester cast another look at his sibling.
“And...then he...hugged me and started rocking me and crying.” Sam squirmed uncomfortably. “It all gets kinda fuzzy after that. I think I puked all over his shirt and passed out again.”
“You did,” Dean confirmed, lips twisting in a grimace. “It was gross.”
“Midnight,” Bobby repeated thoughtfully, his gaze on the elder Winchester. “The witching hour.”
“Where did you say you were before this?”
“Shoshone. We were after a witch, only some other hunter got there first.” Sam noticed the change in the elder man’s expression, and the penny finally dropped. “A curse?”
Bobby nodded slowly. “That’d be my guess.”
“But – but the altar was destroyed, and so was the witch. There was only ash left,” Dean practically wailed in protest.
“Did you step in it? The ash from the altar?”
“Well, yeah. It was all over the basement floor. Kinda hard not to. Why? What did I do?”
“I think you walked through the residue of whatever spell the witch was cookin’ up when the altar was destroyed.”
Dean’s face scrunched in disgust as he lifted his left foot off the floor to look at the sole of his boot. “What – you mean I stepped in some kinda – curse doo-doo?”
Bobby snorted. “Just be thankful that it was just the residue and not the full deal, ya idjit. Who knows what could have happened?”
Heaving a relieved sigh, Sam scrubbed one hand over his face. “So, how do we stop it?”
“Well, we could just let it run its course. Or we can go back to the house and see what we can find.” Bobby arched one eyebrow. “So, since we got two hunts here, what do you boys want to take on first? The Tailypo or the curse?”
“The Tailypo,” Sam stated at the same time Dean muttered, “The curse.”
Both brothers looked at each other in astonishment.
“You want to go after Tailypo first? What about me?” Dean demanded, his shocked tone hovering dangerously close to hysteria.
Sam rolled his eyes. “Dean, so far you’ve had a thumb fetish, created more methane than a herd of dairy cows, picked flowers and acted like a girl with PMS. Not much of a curse, as curses go. Don’t you think it’s more important to go after the big scary monster that’s eating people?”
“Oh, sure, let’s go hunt the monster, while your brother – your brother
– could freakin’ die from a witch’s curse!”
“Only if you gas yourself to death!”
The elder Winchester’s lips trembled. “You’re such a heartless bitch!”
“Do I have to separate you two?” a gravelly voice bellowed from the other side of the room, causing both siblings to subside. They traded hostile glares while the elder hunter paced back and forth for a few moments, deep in thought.
“Okay, you knuckleheads, here’s the plan. I’ll go to Shoshone and see if I can find a way to break this curse. You two get some topographical maps of the area and go over every inch of the terrain to see where the Tailypo’s lair is most likely to be. I’ll be back before dark.”
Grabbing his keys, one of the takeout coffees and a doughnut from the bag on the table, Bobby shot one more warning glare at his ‘sons’ before tugging open the door. “Try not to get into any more trouble while I’m gone.”
The door slammed. Dean sucked in a hitching breath and fiddled with the tissue box, a few stray tears trickling down his cheeks. Sam rubbed at the bandage around his head and sighed.
It was going to be a very long afternoon.
* * * * *
The sun had almost set by the time Bobby got back to Casper. Cursing the fact that it had taken him much longer than anticipated sanctifying the witch’s house and hopefully breaking the spell that had attached itself to Dean like a lost puppy; he pulled up beside the Chevy and hurried to the Winchesters’ room.
Sam pulled open the door before the demon hunter had a chance to knock.
“Thank God – tell me you found the curse and broke it.”
“Let me guess, there’s no change, right?”
The taller hunter gestured towards the bathroom. A faint, muffled sobbing came from behind the closed door.
Bobby’s eyebrows rose. “How long’s he been in there this time?”
“About ten minutes. A bird flew into the window – knocked itself out. He saw it, and...” Sam shrugged, sighed and rubbed at his temple. “We can’t hunt the damned Tailypo like this, Bobby. Dean’s only gotta see a bug get squashed and it’s like he’s lost his best friend.”
“Leave him here at the motel and you and me’ll go hunt the thing.”
Sam fidgeted uneasily. “Uh – we can’t do that either. I left him here to get some burgers for lunch, and by the time I got back, he was almost hysterical. He’d been listening to the local news, and heard there was a hit-and-run downtown. He thought...” he tapered off, biting his bottom lip.
“He thought it was you.” The grizzled hunter sighed. “And it’ll be worse if we go hunting without him. He’ll only imagine all kinds of things, none of them good.”
Nodding once, Sam gestured towards the fresh bandage wound around his head. “And since the thing’s already taken a swing at me...”
“Yeah. Well, what’s the plan, kid?”
“I guess all we can do is wait till midnight and see if the curse ends. Then hunt the thing down at first light if Dean’s okay.”
Bobby grunted in agreement. “In the meantime, let’s see if we can get him outta the bathroom.”
* * * * *
Pushing aside the detailed notes and area map, Bobby stretched and scrubbed both hands over his face before checking his watch. The luminous face showed five minutes to midnight and he grunted softly as he looked across the room at the sleeping Winchesters.
Dean had cried himself to sleep around 10pm after a heated disagreement between himself and his brother over the location of the Tailypo’s lair. Sam had thrown himself on his own bed not long after, and had slowly succumbed to slumber, the map still clutched in one hand. Bobby had eased it from the young man’s loose grasp and smoothed out the wrinkles before going over the boys’ plan in minute detail.
The brothers had narrowed the possible location down to an area of about two square miles, based on their encounter with the creature and its relation to where the victims’ blood had been found. However, even two square miles was still a lot of ground to cover, the bearded hunter thought ruefully. The boys had tried to whittle it down further, but couldn’t agree on a starting point, which was what had led to their final argument of the day. Sam had opted for the creature being somewhere close to the low granite cliffs that they’d found the previous day. Dean hadn’t agreed, theorising that the Tailypo had heard them moving around and had been stalking them while they were tracking it. His guess was that the creature’s lair was high in the trees, but not too far from the hiking trail.
Bobby looked at his watch again. Thirty seconds to midnight.
Slowly getting to his feet, he kept his gaze fastened on the elder Winchester as he moved closer to the beds. At the witching hour, he spotted a faint glow surrounding Dean’s foot beneath the covers, and gritted his teeth.
The green-eyed hunter twitched in his sleep, muttered unintelligibly and flipped onto his side facing his sibling. One arm slid from beneath the comforter, fingers skating across the top of the nightstand and knocking his cell phone to the floor.
Picking up the device, Bobby set it back on the bedside table and rested a hand on the slumbering young man’s shoulder. “Dean.”
“Huh!” Startled awake, Dean blinked a few times to focus his vision. “What?”
“Sorry boy, didn’t mean to startle ya. You feelin’ okay?”
“Uh, yeah, I’m fine. Tired.”
Bobby huffed quietly. After the emotionally charged day the boy had had, he wasn’t surprised. “That hit-and-run victim’s not doin’ so good, I hear.”
“Yeah? That’s too bad.” Dean rubbed at his eyes before pulling the blankets up to his chin and yawning widely. “They catch the guy who did it?”
“Not yet.” Nodding in satisfaction, the demon hunter stepped back. “Go back to sleep. We got a hunt tomorrow.”
Bobby waited until the younger man dozed off again before grabbing a spare blanket and turning off the lights. Making himself as comfortable as he could on the couch, he let out a relieved sigh as he closed his eyes.
It looked like his purification ritual had done the trick. The curse was finally broken.
The hunter drifted off to sleep within moments, failing to hear the soft thump as Dean knocked his cell phone to the floor once more.
* * * * *
Well now, has Bobby managed to break the curse....or not... Time will tell.
Oh - have something to share with you. Auntie was inspired by a line of Sam's from this chapter, and made a banner to illustrate Sam's point. I always knew she was a closet Sam girl at heart -
Anyway, here it is - hope you enjoy it.
And I'll see you next week with Day Five......